Saturday, May 30, 2015

Guesthouse RULEZ! What to expect when staying in a B&B!

Guesthouse Rulez!
How to maximize your stay in a B&B guest home!

When staying in an environment as intimate as a Bed & Breakfast, there are some essential guidelines one must know to maximize their stay, ensure comfort and enrich their entire city and cultural experience.

Staying in someone’s home in family-style B&B environment is more than just a personal experience; it’s an entire way of travelling. It doesn’t have to be awkward, intimidating or anything to shy away from. Petite Paris says if you know ‘how-to-stay’, it can be the ultimate cultural immersion and authentic ‘way-to-stay’ in any city, living the way the locals do, with much more independence and freedom than you think.

More like guidelines the B&B ‘rules’ help establish host/guest roles and responsibilities, and what to expect for easy living. No two people and no two B&Bs are alike; B&B hosts offer a tailored flexible service to meet individual needs and guests can pick a B&B that best meets their needs and style living individually and comfortably, just like at home.

Respect and Relax Relax and enjoy the comfort of the home (lounge, kitchen, TV, make tea/coffee, read books) while respecting the space, peace, comfort and tidiness of your hosts’ home. E.g. avoid parading naked, yelling, rearranging furniture, leaving food scraps, inviting strangers, watch TV till 3am, clipping toe nails in the kitchen.
Request a separate entry – Guests who want privacy, pick a B&B that offers a private entry separate to host that leads directly into the guest room, suite or terrace.

Network the neighbourhood Utilize your B&B host for tips on the best stores, cafes, restaurants, markets. Find out where they frequent (a regular boulangerie?), drop their name to the store-man and voila, instant rapport! It’s a great ‘IN’ with some locals and local businesses and to erase the ‘I’m just a tourist’ sign on your forehead. It will open you right up with confidence to your own little neighbourhood community.  

Be a sport – Offer to go out and pick up some milk or bread or anything your host might need. They will love the gesture creating a warm bond and it’s a great reason to go back to the local store and continue the dialogue and language with the locals.
Paying your host – Get cash out before arriving at your B&B and offer payment upfront. Hosts are too polite to ask and this is the standard B&B ‘rule’. Plus its better to get formalities out of the way so you can get on with enjoying Paris and your B&B without any awkwardness later. Most B&Bs accept cash only with no credit card facility - B&Bs are not hotels and there is no more professional and hospitable host than a real B&B host!    

Breakfast and other meals The B&B is a professional service that provides breakfast by exceptional people. It is not characteristic for them to serve dinner but if you ask they may make the exception (just be mindful of timing, ask in advance and include dietary restrictions). Some hosts offer dinner as an extra service. Tip: If you are served something you don’t like at breakfast, don’t be too polite to say so, or you may get it again.

DIY Cooking: Guests looking to save cash by cooking more meals, or needing to prepare special dietary meals, can pick a B&B with kitchen access. Always clean up after yourself.

Accessibility - Different B&Bs have different access levels. Classic B&Bs offer a guest room and bath, others offer the lounge too and others offer complete use. Pick your preference and be aware of your access before booking, arriving or whipping up fancy meals in a private kitchen. B&Bs offering complete use, guests should feel at complete ease to access rooms anytime, but don’t take advantage e.g. cooking three times a day; or late at night.

Expect a home not a hotel – B&Bs are kept to very high standards of quality but do not expect hotel style or hotel luxuries. Certain wear and tear is expected and part of the charming home experience, but be assured dirtiness is not.
Coming and going – Guests are given a set of keys, free to come and go as they wish. It is courteous to let your host know when you will be late if you expect it, but it’s not necessary or anything to worry over. Hosts understand unexpected late nights happen. Tip: If your host is out you can leave a note. Some B&Bs offer guests own private entries.
Speaking English - Most B&B hosts speak at least adequate English but use the opportunity to practice your language skills staying in their home. If you experience language barriers, smile it’s the universal language, gentle gestures and sign language go a long way. Ideally you will have a phrase book, or use Google translate. Many hosts offer language lessons.

Bring a little souvenir – Bring your host a souvenir from home? -  Something small to giggle at or talk about. Don’t break the bank, a jar of vegemite or a toy kangaroo will do!

Friend VS Host – Get to know your host on a personal level and share a little about you; say yes to their invitations for walking tours – it’s a great way to expand the relationship beyond the B&B and see a local’s perspective of the city. Hosts can become good friends, but know where to draw the host/guest line i.e. don’t ask for a discount, this will strain the new relationship; do not turn into a lazy ‘room-mate’, refer to Rule 1: ‘Respect and Relax’.

Know your rights - Inspect their B&B to ensure it is as described before taking possession or paying. Quality, comfort and peace are your right. If for any reason your B&B home turns out to be less than expected mid-way through your stay; speak with your host first, they will always work to accommodate and please you; next contact your booking service provider to switch immediately to a new home. There is no need nor should you ask your host for a refund - your service provider will ensure all missing costs are recalculated.  

Arrival must-do's – On arrival expect help with luggage, a drink and a warm welcome from your host. Offer your identification - a necessary security step for hosts to ensure they are welcoming the correct guests in their home; allow yourself to be shown around the home; ask/confirm details i.e shared spaces; establish breakfast times and dietary needs; negotiate any specific extra needs; book meals or tours; make your payment; receive keys and entry codes details; be guided with all other formalities by your experienced host.

Play the host – A little gesture to bring home treats you discover on the streets, a cake or bread from a new Boulangerie or a petit palette of fresh cherry tomatoes; offer hosts a glass of your wine; share any local discoveries - it may be new to hosts who love to learn just as much about their own city through their guests. Think of your tips as information to be passed on to future guests who will have a wonderful experience thanks to you!

Laundry service – Take advantage of the free laundry service, but don’t take advantage. i.e no laundry everyday. Doing laundry in your en-suite is a no-no.
Sleepovers – Always ask before inviting friends to the B&B with respect for the privacy and security of their hosts home and belongings. Hosts will never have strangers in the home for guests their own comfort and security.

B&B boundaries – B&Bs with private ensuites are available but in a standard B&B you may be sharing the bathroom with your host therefore you should expect their personal items to be there too. However as professionals, hosts will always give you priority use (in many cases you won’t ever see your host go in) and will never hurry you though try not to spend hours, and the bathroom is cleaned daily.

Put the shoe on the other foot Always put yourself in your hosts shoes, treat the B&B the way you would hope and expect a guest would treat your home. Equally your host will be trying to make you feel as ‘at home’ and comfortable as possible. 

Petite Paris Australia ( is an online service with over 120 exclusive B&Bs apartments in Paris, hand picked for impeccable quality, style and service by B&B professionals with over 20 years experience. From classic B&Bs to historic mansions, romantic suites, to private studios and apartments. is the sister site offering quality B&Bs and homes throughout France.

The B&B environment is a recognized and approved lodging service in Paris, considered by the French Tourism Convention Bureau as the most authentic style of accommodation for true cultural immersions and exchanges between travellers and natives.

For media enquiries please contact Regina Ferreira at Petite Pr:

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